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Building using Wood: Advantages and Disadvantages

Building using Wood: Advantages and Disadvantages

For as long as humans have been constructing their own shelters, we’ve been making use of wood in the process. Whether it’s the all-wood homes of the past or the modern, wood-finished properties you’ll find around the globe, wood remains an integral part of almost every home built.

Today, however, there are a plethora of building materials available to the modern home builder. From steel to cement, there are dozens of viable building materials around – each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

So, is wood – that great traditional building material – still up to the task in modern homes? Join us as we take a look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages of building using wood:

 

Advantages:

 

  • Eco-friendliness: At Bespoke, we specialise in the construction of eco-homes and, when it comes to eco-friendly building materials, wood stands up there amongst the very finest. Renewable and with a low CO2 impact, wood can be sourced from sustainable forests where it will be replaced with new saplings, to ensure ongoing supply.

 

  • Weight and Strength: Relative to its weight, wood can have outstanding strength. This makes it excellent for building as it can withstand a great deal of weight without issue. Compared to a material like steel, which is strong but weighs significantly more, that can be a real advantage.

 

  • Beauty: It might sound trivial, but the natural beauty of wood cannot be overstated. Wood connects us to nature and has been prized for its unique beauty for as long as we’ve been around on this planet. Wood construction in the home brings real charm and warmth to a property and is a huge reason why many people opt for it.

 

  • Adaptability: Wood can be cut, bent or warped into virtually any shape imaginable without losing its inherent strength, which makes it ideally suited to construction where it can be adapted for use in any part of the home.

 

The sheer versatility of wood and the richness of the varieties (over 1000) available has meant that wood is used everywhere from forest cabins to concert halls and from suburban properties to vast mansions, but it’s not without its disadvantages, namely…

 

Disadvantages:

 

  • Shrinking and Swelling: Wood is a living material, and with changes in air temperature and moisture, it will shrink and swell a small amount. If a property isn’t designed to absorb these changes this can cause issues. It also means that wood must be correctly treated and sealed before it’s used on construction.

 

  • Deterioration: Properly treated wood will stay in excellent condition for decade after decade, but there’s no use in pretending that wood won’t deteriorate over time if it’s not properly cared for. Fungi, insects, termites, beetles and more can all pose serious problems to wood, which, if untreated can put the structural integrity of the wood at risk.

 

  • Cost: Compared to competing materials, some varieties of wood can prove expensive, although much will depend on the type and quality of the wood that you source, as well as the location it had to travel.

 

Keeping these disadvantages in mind, it’s clear that wood remains not only a very viable choice for modern homebuilders but a highly desirable one too. To learn more about whether wood might be a good choice for your project, get in touch today.